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Microbes Infect. 2007 Apr;9(4):428-34. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

Relationship between Helicobacter pylori virulence factors and regulatory cytokines as predictors of clinical outcome.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Lira 85, Santiago, Chile.


Helicobacter pylori infection is highly prevalent in Chile (73%). Usually a minority of infected patients develops complications such as ulcers and gastric cancer that have been associated with the presence of virulence factors (cagA, vacA) and host T helper response (Th1/Th2). Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between strain virulence and host immune response, using a multiple regression approach for the development of a model based on data collected from H. pylori infected patients in Chile. We analyzed levels of selected cytokines determined by ELISA (interleukin (IL)-12, IL-10, interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-4) and the presence of cagA and vacA alleles polymorphisms determined by PCR in antral biopsies of 41 patients referred to endoscopy. By multiple regression analysis we established a correlation between bacterial and host factors using clinical outcome (gastritis and duodenal ulcer) as dependent variables. The selected model was described by: clinical outcome=0.867491 (cagA)+0.0131847 (IL-12/IL-10)+0.0103503 (IFN-gamma/IL-4) and it was able to explain over 90% of clinical outcomes observations (R(2)=96.4). This model considers that clinical outcomes are better explained by the interaction of host immune factors and strain virulence as a complex and interdependent mechanism.

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